Karren's Open Letter

Go to arden.ac.uk



If you're looking to accelerate your leadership career in today's global business environment, the industry-led Karren Brady MBA is the qualification to help you do exactly that.

We've worked closely with Baroness Karren Brady to develop an MBA which hones in on key business activities, equipping you with the skills needed to
address shortages commonly faced in business
and the confidence to hit the ground running in
a management role.

If you're looking to accelerate your leadership career in today's global business environment, the industry-led Karren Brady MBA is the qualification to help you do exactly that.

We've worked closely with Baroness Karren Brady to develop an MBA which hones in on key business activities, equipping you with the skills needed to address shortages commonly faced in business and the confidence to hit the ground running in a management role.

Key info

Master in Business Administration (MBA)
Course Title
The Karren Brady MBA
Study Mode
* Subject to final CMI accreditation approval
2 years


The Karren Brady MBA is an industry-led programme, designed with the development of world-class leaders in mind. Combining Baroness Brady’s wealth of real-world leadership experience with a contemporary curriculum focused on the inter-connected management functions of a successful, sustainable business, the Karren Brady MBA is truly unique.

As one of the UK's most accomplished businesswomen, Karren's years of leadership experience have informed the development of this online MBA, and her fascinating insights into life behind the boardroom doors have helped shape a qualification which cultivates the skills required by employers today - and tomorrow.

Anyone enrolling on the Karren Brady MBA can expect to develop the skills and confidence to manage complex projects, deliver cross-functional change and negotiate with key stakeholders or clients, all while enhancing their knowledge of management and leadership styles.

While studying this MBA, you will explore theories and practical applications that underpin strategic leadership and organisational growth, graduating with refined personal skills and attributes commonly required to nurture and lead an organisation in today's challenging and increasingly volatile business environment.

Why study for an MBA?

This MBA doesn't just focus on core subjects, but
'soft skills' too. A Financial Times survey revealed
that the five most important skills in business are:

  • The ability to work with different people
  • Setting priorities and managing time
  • Understanding the digital impact on businesses
  • Networking
  • The ability to solve complex problems
Source: ft.com article – What employers want from MBA graduates - August 2017
  • £ Graduates from business schools in the FT Global MBA Ranking 2019, gained salary increases of between 67% and 118% after completing an MBA*
  • 84% of MBA alumni say the skills they developed during their degree helped them advance their career
  • 60% of MBA alumni say they couldn't have obtained their current job without their MBA study
  • * Source: prospects.ac.uk article – What is an MBA? - September 2019
    † Source: businessbecause.com article – How an MBA can Open Doors to a Career in Finance – April 2019

Programme content

There is significant evidence to support the idea that organisational success correlates with businesses that are structured around their key business activities, rather than functional areas like HRM or finance. Therefore, our modules reflect these key activities.


Year 1

  • Developing into a World-Class Leader
    • Leadership
    • Organisational behaviour
    • Organisational culture
    • Human resource management
  • The Art of Negotiation and Persuasion
    • Negotiation and persuasion theory
  • Winning at Ethical Leadership
    • Corporate social responsibility
    • Business ethics
    • Cross-cultural leadership
    • Inclusivity and diversity
  • Building Powerful Strategies for Growth and Success in the Global Environment
    • Strategic marketing
    • Business and corporate strategy
    • Data analytics
    • Financial analysis

Year 2

  • Leading Successful Organisational Change Initiatives
    • Leading and managing change
    • Financial analysis
    • Project management
  • The Fundamentals of Sustainable Business Growth
    • Corporate social responsibility
    • Business ethics
    • Sustainability
  • The Entrepreneurial Project
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Research skills

To be eligible for the Karren Brady MBA at Arden, you must have:

  • A UK Honours degree at a minimum of second class (2.2) or equivalent
  • 2 years' suitable work experience
  • For students whose prior learning was not taught in English, you must have IELTS 6.5 or equivalent (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Don't have academic qualifications?
We are more than happy to consider, and positively encourage, an application from you if you have a substantial amount of suitable work experience (typically 5 years of senior level experience), and can show us that you have the motivation to study the programme. We'll ask you for a personal statement that demonstrates your ability to study the course. We may ask for references and evidence of relevant experience.

MBA course fees: £12,500

Funding options available for the Karren Brady MBA are as follows:

Postgraduate student loan for UK & EU students
As a postgraduate student, you can now apply for a student loan of up to £10,000, for taught and research Master's courses, including MBAs. Find out more at www.gov.uk/masters-loan

Postgrad Solutions study bursary
Looking for additional funding for a postgraduate qualification? Postgrad Solutions now offer 15 bursaries across a number of subject areas. Click here to apply.

Self-funding: pay in full
If you're in a position to do so, you can opt to self-fund your course and pay the entire amount up-front.

As the Karren Brady MBA will develop you as a professional, your employer may want to fund or part-fund your studies. Feel free to call our team on 0800 268 7737 to discuss the steps to securing employer sponsorship.

As a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Higher Education Partner, the Karen Brady MBA will provide you with a CMI accredited MBA*.

This means you'll receive free CMI membership for the duration of your course, giving you access to extensive online resources such as mentoring, careers tools and CPD opportunities, as well as a Level 7 CMI Diploma.

* Subject to final CMI accreditation approval.

CMI logo

The Karren Brady MBA utilises a cross-cutting approach to leadership and management, and the module content is focused on key business activity as a result.

As a student on this MBA, you can expect the following key themes, with a focus on innovation in student engagement:

  • Developing the requisite personal skills and behaviours that are essential in strategic leadership, including: personal communication, negotiation and self-development;
  • Identifying and unlocking the potential of inclusivity and diversity within organisations to construct, motivate and lead high-performance teams;
  • Utilising and harnessing digitally-driven data and information to help optimise decision-making;
  • Developing entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial competencies and mind-sets to drive innovation and creativity, helping organisations stand out from the crowd and achieve success within highly competitive arenas.

Industry mentors
Throughout the programme, you will receive careers guidance and executive coaching. Focused on the development of career management skills and identifying career options, mentors will offer full support as you make important decisions about your future.

PCM diagnostics
Study modules which incorporate interactive, psychological inventories from talent assessment business, PCM. You can complete validated and respected questionnaires online and receive diagnostic reports to assess essential skills.

Business communication training
Master the characteristics of outstanding leadership with this optional, world-class training. Helping you refine your communication skills, no matter what stage of your career you're at. Led by professional consultants, attendees will receive a certificate upon completion of this session, which will take place at the first networking e vent (see below for more).

Karren Brady Masterclass Series
Each module will include a Masterclass from Baroness Brady, giving you the opportunity to gain a real insight into what it takes to become a successful leader, from one of the UK’s most successful women in business.

Residential networking
Networking is a vital part of MBA courses, so you'll get the chance to attend two residential workshops, where you'll meet likeminded, fellow MBA students, and benefit from peer-to-peer learning, development and support. You'll also get to hear from Karren herself, as well as other renowned business leaders, gaining leadership training and setting the scene for the programme learnings and outcomes. These sessions will also include business communication training and an introduction to your entrepreneurial project (year 2).

Learners on the programme should already be in work and/or have significant work experience, as the Karren Brady MBA is designed to help develop your existing career by meeting the needs of employers.

It is aligned to the current CMI benchmarks, and Arden University have academic staff embedded within the CMI benchmark review process.

The Karren Brady MBA programme offers the degree of flexibility required to ensure that even those in full-time employment have the opportunity to study. The programme will develop your skills, behaviours and knowledge, enabling you to confidently enter the business, leadership and management environment, or improve your existing career prospects within it, once you graduate.

While studying this MBA, you’ll develop and refine a range of transferrable skills and will be provided with opportunities to evidence said skills. The final project, in particular, offers the opportunity to demonstrate higher level academic skills, such as critical thinking, synthesising information and deep data analysis.

It will also equip you with the skills and knowledge to evaluate and apply various technological solutions to contemporary business challenges in the global environment. You'll also benefit from access to an e-career coach throughout your studies, who will be on hand to offer career guidance and counselling.

You'll be required to participate in an ongoing process of personal development planning (PDP) using a dynamic PDP approach. While studying your first module, you'll create and submit an initial PDP for summative assessment. This document will be a dynamic document, updated continually throughout the programme of study using inputs such as:

  • Assessment feedback
  • Personal career management (PCM) - coaching
  • Career advice via Abintegro and PCM
  • PCM psychological assessment reports
  • Peer-to-peer learning

In the final module, you will be required to submit an account that reflects upon your progress made in the programme, and the effectiveness of your PDP.

The Arden values (support, innovation, doing the right thing and taking ownership) are embedded within the programme, and are instilled in you as you progress through your studies, ensuring you graduate fully equipped with an appropriate and ethically sound knowledge of procedures and processes.

While the distributed nature of Arden University students makes conventional careers support difficult, the use of the Abintegro provider allows us to offer a range of support in career development, and there are opportunities for you to purchase more specialist support if required.

With graduate attributes embedded within the programme, you'll graduate from the Karren Brady MBA industry-ready and prepared to tackle a variety of workplace challenges.

The Karren Brady MBA will be delivered online, but that doesn't mean you'll be embarking on this journey alone! Our modern digital learning environment will ensure you can continue networking with your peers at the virtual water cooler and taking part in collaborative projects via the virtual boardroom.

Optional, one-day residential workshops will also mean that you get to meet your fellow MBA pupils at the start of the programme and right before you start your final project in year two. These workshops will provide an opportunity to talk to those who designed the programme, and hear from industry experts, all of whom have risen to the top of their game.

The programme will be delivered in cohorts, so you will remain with the same group of learners from day one through to graduation. You will study six modules, each delivered over a 12-week period, with a final project to complete at the end of the programme.

The assessment process involves both formative and summative assessment opportunities.

The approach to coursework assignments will be to encourage you to apply your knowledge to organisations and/or data sets. This could be achieved through the use of case studies, but will also involve you applying information and approaches to your own organisations, or an organisation with which you are familiar.

The assessment designed for each module reflects the intentions of that module and will measure the identified learning outcomes. A variety of assessment strategies will be used to reflect and test the achievement of the learning outcomes. These are detailed within each module and mapped in the table below.

There is a requirement for written work at all levels, including reports, developed plans, PDPs, etc. to carry formative opportunities.

There will be a focus on encouraging you to apply your knowledge to practical organisational situations. A significant part of this comes from the Project module. Here you will be required to identify a topic of interest to you, which falls within the encompassing field of leadership. You will explore this, indicate entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial thinking and will apply your research to the topic, putting forward recommendations which are of practical, innovative benefit to the organisation.

Summative and formative mapping

Module Formal formative opportunity Summative assessment
Developing into a World Class Leader Both components – feedback on plans and on draft submissions Report and PDP
The Art of Negotiation and Persuasion Group exercise – tutor advice in 'forum'
Reflective account – tutor comment on plan and one draft of completed document
Group exercise
Reflective document
Winning at Ethical Leadership Tutor feedback on initial plan and on draft submission Reflective account
Building Powerful Strategies for Growth and Success in the Global Environment Strategic analysis - tutor feedback on initial plan and on draft submission.
Presentation – tutor feedback on one draft presentation.
Strategic analysis
Narrated presentation
Leading Successful Organisational Change Initiatives Tutor feedback on initial plan and on draft submission Costed change proposal
The Fundamentals of Sustainable Business Growth BSC - tutor feedback in discussion forum.
Business plan - tutor feedback on draft assessment.
Group Balanced Scorecard (BSC)
Sustainable business plan
The Entrepreneurial Project Ongoing iterative feedback from project supervisor. One full copy of a draft project can be handed to the supervisor for feedback prior to summative submission. Project including reflection on PDP progress (appended).

October 2020 starters

  • Year 1
    • October - December
      • Developing into a World-Class Leader
    • January - March
      • The Art of Negotiation & Persuasion
    • April - June
      • Winning at Ethical Leadership
    • July - September
      • Building Powerful Strategies for Growth & Success in the Global Environment
  • Year 2
    • October - December
      • Leading Organisational Change Initiatives
    • January - March
      • Fundamentals of Sustainable Business Growth
    • April - September
      • The Entrepreneurial Project

April 2021 starters

  • Year 1
    • April - June
      • Developing into a World-Class Leader
    • July - September
      • The Art of Negotiation & Persuasion
    • October - December
      • Winning at Ethical Leadership
    • January - March
      • Building Powerful Strategies for Growth & Success in the Global Environment
  • Year 2
    • April - June
      • Leading Organisational Change Initiatives
    • July – September
      • Fundamentals of Sustainable Business Growth
    • October - March
      • The Entrepreneurial Project

Please note: there is no "infill" on this programme.

A word from our academics

Arden's Head of School for Business and Management, Matthew Cooper, worked alongside Karren to create this stand-out MBA programme.

Here, he explains exactly what makes the Karren Brady MBA unique, and talks about the important role Karren has played in shaping a programme which prepares its graduates for life in the boardroom.

Baroness Brady Open Letter


We all have personal inspirations that help us stay focused on our progression in both our education and careers. I look back on my own career managing and leading football clubs and other businesses, becoming a published author and entering the House of Lords, and I consider what inspired me onward in business and in life.

I had a set of core values that I feel were key to becoming successful. I had integrity and an enthusiasm for work; I was hungry to get on. These are the same values I have today and what I wanted to inspire in others. It's really important to realise that people very rarely become an overnight success. I worked hard in my first job and I've continued to work hard for 30 years to become the business-minded person you see today.

In my position today, and with key experiences throughout my career, I have been inspired to work with a modern university to create an MBA that will enable others to respond to their own inspirations and achieve their professional ambitions through a development in business acumen.

The Karren Brady MBA is a Distance Learning MBA delivered by online specialist, Arden University. This MBA qualification is designed to hone in on that which more traditional MBAs are overlooking; most crucially, this MBA is modelled on insights that can ensure your newly-acquired skills are sustainable for future career conditions. You’ll also gain the confidence and foresight to breakout as an entrepreneur, and develop vital soft skills to translate into any role, in any sector.

I have personally been involved in the creation of the programme content and believe it’s one of the best qualifications for business success. I have met the talented lecturers that bring with them a wealth of experience in business and strong leadership skills - the learnings from which I ensure are at the heart of this MBA, as the crucial insights only real-world experience can offer are what help us succeed.

If you’re looking to make your business goals a reality, and to respond to inspirations which compel you to be the best you can be, then the Karren Brady MBA will provide you a valuable step in the right direction.

Electronic signature

Enquire about The Karren Brady MBA course

What Uni

Highly rated
We are rated 4.2 out of 5 on
WhatUni, with over 100 reviews.

25 years

Experts in Online Higher Education
We have been providing UK university qualifications for over 25 years.


Accredited courses
A CMI Accredited* MBA, valued globally by employers.
* Subject to final CMI accreditation approval.